Police workforce

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • at the end of March 2020, 92.7% of police officers were White and 7.3% were from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic backgrounds

  • 4.3% of senior officers were from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined, compared with 2.8% in 2007

  • between 2007 and 2020, the percentage of police officers from every ethnic minority group went up – the biggest increase was for Asian police officers (from 1.5 to 3.1%)

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, 86.0% of people in England and Wales were White and 14.0% were from other ethnic groups

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data shows the number and percentage of people working for the police who come from different ethnic groups. It covers the 43 police forces in England and Wales, and the British Transport Police.

The data comes from a snapshot taken on 31 March every year.

Percentages are based on 'full-time equivalent' (FTE) staff numbers. For example, someone who works 2.5 days a week has an FTE of 0.5.

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

The figures on this page are based on Home Office police workforce data – this is where you can find the first release and most up-to-date data.

Not included in the data

The data does not include staff whose ethnicity was not known. In 2020, this was:

  • 2.6% of police officers
  • 3.4% of the total police workforce
  • 8.2% of special constables

The ethnic groups used in the data

Police officers and staff in England and Wales report their own ethnicity based on the following 5 aggregated ethnic groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other ethnic group (including Chinese)

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document (PDF opens in a new window or tab) for this data.

Population estimates come from the 2011 Census. You can read more about how we use Census data.

3. By ethnicity (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers, and percentage of the overall population (at 2011 Census), by ethnicity
Ethnicity % of police officers % of population Number of police officers (FTE)
Asian 3.1 6.8 3,884
Black 1.3 3.3 1,586
Mixed 2.2 2.2 2,711
White 92.7 86.0 116,536
Other including Chinese 0.8 1.7 993
Unknown N/A* N/A* 3,400

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity (police officers) Summary

The data shows that:

  • White people made up 92.7% of police officers at the end of March 2020, and 86.0% of the general population at the time of the 2011 Census

  • Asian people made up 3.1% of police officers, and 6.8% of the general population

  • people with Mixed ethnicity made up 2.2% of police officers, and 2.2% of the general population

  • Black people made up 1.3% of police officers, and 3.3% of the general population

  • people from the Other ethnic group made up 0.8% of police officers, and 1.7% of the general population

4. By ethnicity over time (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers by ethnicity over time
Asian Black Mixed White Other including Chinese Unknown
Time Asian % of police officers Asian Number of police officers (FTE) Black % of police officers Black Number of police officers (FTE) Mixed % of police officers Mixed Number of police officers (FTE) White % of police officers White Number of police officers (FTE) Other inc Chinese % of police officers Other inc Chinese Number of police officers (FTE) Unknown % of police officers Unknown Number of police officers (FTE)
2007 1.5 2,111 1.0 1,350 1.0 1,419 96.1 134,372 0.5 632 N/A* 1,999
2008 1.6 2,231 1.0 1,371 1.1 1,525 95.9 134,000 0.5 656 N/A* 1,920
2009 1.7 2,472 1.0 1,427 1.2 1,699 95.6 135,651 0.5 689 N/A* 1,839
2010 1.8 2,607 1.0 1,446 1.3 1,844 95.3 135,293 0.5 745 N/A* 1,799
2011 1.9 2,582 1.0 1,442 1.3 1,838 95.2 130,870 0.5 754 N/A* 1,625
2012 2.0 2,607 1.1 1,420 1.4 1,871 95.0 125,579 0.6 766 N/A* 1,858
2013 2.0 2,563 1.1 1,361 1.5 1,865 94.9 121,086 0.6 749 N/A* 1,961
2014 2.1 2,665 1.1 1,352 1.5 1,922 94.7 119,071 0.6 776 N/A* 2,124
2015 2.2 2,795 1.1 1,373 1.6 2,028 94.4 117,757 0.6 785 N/A* 2,079
2016 2.4 2,881 1.2 1,433 1.7 2,096 94.1 114,437 0.7 808 N/A* 2,411
2017 2.6 3,104 1.2 1,432 1.8 2,185 93.7 112,953 0.7 841 N/A* 2,616
2018 2.7 3,266 1.2 1,424 1.9 2,309 93.4 111,506 0.7 852 N/A* 3,048
2019 2.9 3,476 1.2 1,493 2.1 2,473 93.1 111,710 0.7 889 N/A* 3,148
2020 3.1 3,884 1.3 1,586 2.2 2,711 92.7 116,536 0.8 993 N/A* 3,400

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity over time (police officers) Summary

The data shows that:

  • between 2007 and 2020, the percentage of police officers from each of the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups went up

  • the biggest increase was in the Asian ethnic group, where the percentage of police officers went up from 1.5% to 3.1%

5. By ethnicity and area (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers, and percentage of the overall population (at 2011 Census), by ethnicity and police force area
Asian Black Mixed White Other including Chinese Unknown
Geography Asian % of police officers Asian % population Asian Number of police officers (FTE) Black % of police officers Black % population Black Number of police officers (FTE) Mixed % of police officers Mixed % population Mixed Number of police officers (FTE) White % of police officers White % population White Number of police officers (FTE) Other inc Chinese % of police officers Other inc Chinese % population Other inc Chinese Number of police officers (FTE) Unknown % of police officers Unknown % population Unknown Number of police officers (FTE)
All - excluding BTP 3.1 6.8 3,884 1.3 3.3 1,586 2.2 2.2 2,711 92.7 86.0 116,536 0.8 1.7 993 N/A* N/A* 3,400
Avon & Somerset 0.4 2.1 10 0.4 1.9 11 2.4 1.8 63 96.5 93.3 2,489 0.3 1.0 7 N/A* N/A* 224
Bedfordshire 5.6 13.2 68 1.1 4.8 13 3.2 3.0 39 89.9 77.5 1,095 0.2 1.4 3 N/A* N/A* 44
British Transport Police 4.5 N/A* 129 2.4 N/A* 70 2.9 N/A* 82 89.8 N/A* 2,582 0.4 N/A* 12 N/A* N/A* 90
Cambridgeshire 1.4 4.9 21 0.8 1.3 13 2.0 2.0 31 95.4 90.3 1,456 0.4 1.6 6 N/A* N/A* 19
Cheshire 0.5 1.2 10 0.2 0.3 5 1.1 1.0 22 98.1 96.9 1,981 0.1 0.5 2 N/A* N/A* 68
Cleveland 1.5 3.1 20 0.0 0.6 0 0.5 1.0 7 97.8 94.5 1,273 0.2 0.8 2 N/A* N/A* 23
Cumbria 0.3 0.6 3 0.3 0.1 3 0.5 0.5 6 99.0 98.5 1,187 0.0 0.3 0 N/A* N/A* 22
Derbyshire 2.2 3.6 40 0.2 1.0 4 1.1 1.4 21 96.3 93.3 1,765 0.2 0.7 3 N/A* N/A* 17
Devon & Cornwall 0.1 0.7 3 0.2 0.2 6 1.1 0.9 28 98.3 97.5 2,428 0.2 0.6 5 N/A* N/A* 631
Dorset 0.3 1.4 3 0.2 0.4 2 1.2 1.3 14 98.2 96.0 1,158 0.2 0.8 2 N/A* N/A* 59
Durham 0.4 0.8 5 0.1 0.2 1 1.1 0.7 12 98.3 97.8 1,120 0.1 0.5 1 N/A* N/A* 2
Dyfed-Powys 0.2 0.8 2 0.1 0.2 1 0.9 0.6 8 98.7 98.0 885 0.1 0.4 1 N/A* N/A* 268
Essex 0.6 2.3 18 0.2 2.0 5 2.1 1.6 68 96.8 93.2 3,138 0.4 0.9 14 N/A* N/A* 56
Gloucestershire 0.8 1.8 9 0.4 0.9 4 1.7 1.5 19 97.0 95.4 1,100 0.2 0.5 2 N/A* N/A* 42
Greater Manchester 4.9 9.2 332 0.9 2.8 63 2.2 2.3 150 91.4 83.8 6,232 0.6 2.0 43 N/A* N/A* 46
Gwent 0.8 1.7 10 0.4 0.6 5 0.8 1.0 10 97.8 96.1 1,245 0.2 0.6 3 N/A* N/A* 38
Hampshire 1.1 3.0 28 0.3 0.9 9 1.2 1.6 31 96.7 93.3 2,503 0.7 1.1 19 N/A* N/A* 102
Hertfordshire 1.7 5.7 36 0.7 2.8 15 2.2 2.5 46 95.2 87.6 1,961 0.1 1.4 3 N/A* N/A* 26
Humberside 0.8 1.3 16 0.4 0.5 8 0.6 0.9 11 98.2 96.5 1,920 0.0 0.8 0 N/A* N/A* 11
Kent 1.2 3.1 45 0.3 1.3 11 1.7 1.6 63 96.5 93.1 3,595 0.3 0.9 12 N/A* N/A* 56
Lancashire 2.6 7.4 74 0.1 0.4 3 1.9 1.1 54 95.3 90.4 2,722 0.2 0.7 5 N/A* N/A* 142
Leicestershire 5.1 15.3 97 0.7 2.4 14 2.3 2.0 45 91.8 78.4 1,755 0.1 1.9 2 N/A* N/A* 66
Lincolnshire 0.5 0.8 5 0.7 0.4 7 0.9 0.9 10 97.7 97.6 1,033 0.2 0.4 2 N/A* N/A* 10
London, City of 2.7 9.2 21 1.9 2.6 14 2.5 3.9 19 92.8 78.6 702 0.1 5.7 1 N/A* N/A* 2
Merseyside 0.4 1.4 16 0.5 1.1 19 2.0 1.5 73 96.5 94.5 3,454 0.4 1.6 16 N/A* N/A* 51
Metropolitan Police 6.1 17.0 1,916 3.5 13.3 1,112 3.6 5.0 1,139 84.5 59.8 26,742 2.3 5.0 732 N/A* N/A* 558
Norfolk 0.4 1.1 6 0.6 0.5 10 1.2 1.2 19 97.7 96.5 1,600 0.2 0.6 3 N/A* N/A* 28
North Wales 0.2 0.9 3 0.1 0.2 1 0.7 0.7 10 99.1 97.5 1,486 0.0 0.6 0 N/A* N/A* 10
North Yorkshire 0.8 1.2 12 0.2 0.5 3 1.1 0.9 16 97.7 96.6 1,435 0.2 0.8 3 N/A* N/A* 12
Northamptonshire 1.5 3.3 18 1.0 2.4 12 1.7 2.0 21 95.8 91.5 1,168 0.1 0.8 1 N/A* N/A* 53
Northumbria 0.9 2.7 27 0.1 0.6 2 1.1 0.9 33 97.8 94.6 2,951 0.2 1.3 5 N/A* N/A* 137
Nottinghamshire 2.6 4.4 53 0.9 2.5 18 2.0 2.8 40 94.3 88.8 1,927 0.2 1.4 5 N/A* N/A* 29
South Wales 0.8 2.8 25 0.2 1.0 6 1.3 1.4 39 97.4 93.4 2,910 0.3 1.5 9 N/A* N/A* 24
South Yorkshire 1.8 4.1 44 0.5 1.9 12 1.3 1.5 31 96.3 90.6 2,332 0.1 1.8 3 N/A* N/A* 15
Staffordshire 1.1 3.2 19 0.5 0.8 8 1.1 1.3 19 97.2 94.1 1,615 0.0 0.7 0 N/A* N/A* 6
Suffolk 0.6 1.5 7 0.3 0.9 3 2.3 1.7 28 96.7 95.2 1,156 0.2 0.6 2 N/A* N/A* 24
Surrey 1.5 4.8 28 0.6 1.1 11 2.3 2.1 41 95.1 90.4 1,739 0.5 1.7 9 N/A* N/A* 100
Sussex 0.5 2.5 14 0.3 0.9 8 1.6 1.9 41 97.1 93.7 2,441 0.4 1.0 11 N/A* N/A* 203
Thames Valley 1.9 8.5 81 0.5 3.0 20 2.2 2.5 95 94.9 84.6 4,046 0.5 1.4 20 N/A* N/A* 48
Warwickshire 3.3 4.2 34 0.2 0.8 2 1.2 1.5 12 94.8 92.7 965 0.5 0.9 5 N/A* N/A* 17
West Mercia 1.0 1.8 21 0.2 0.4 5 1.0 1.1 23 97.6 96.2 2,151 0.2 0.5 4 N/A* N/A* 15
West Midlands 7.4 18.0 475 1.4 6.0 93 2.5 3.5 163 88.4 70.1 5,702 0.2 2.3 14 N/A* N/A* 69
West Yorkshire 3.8 12.6 204 0.4 2.1 23 1.6 2.2 87 93.8 81.8 5,000 0.3 1.4 14 N/A* N/A* 14
Wiltshire 0.7 2.6 7 0.4 0.9 4 0.7 1.4 7 98.1 94.5 973 0.1 0.6 1 N/A* N/A* 15

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and area (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and area (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity and area (police officers) Summary

The data shows that:

  • in 2020, the Metropolitan Police had the highest percentage of police officers from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds combined (15.5%) out of all police forces

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, 40.2% of people in London were from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic backgrounds

  • in the West Midlands, 11.6% of police officers and 29.9% of the general population were from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic backgrounds

  • in Bedfordshire, 10.1% of police officers and 22.5% of the general population were from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic backgrounds

  • police forces in North Wales, Cumbria, and Dyfed-Powys had the smallest percentage of officers from Asian, Black, Mixed or Other backgrounds (at 0.9%, 1.0% and 1.3%).

6. By ethnicity and rank over time (police officers)

Percentage and number of police officers (FTE) by ethnicity and rank (2007 and 2020)
Asian Black Mixed White Other including Chinese Unknown
Rank Asian % 2007 Asian Number 2007 Asian % 2020 Asian Number 2020 Black % 2007 Black Number 2007 Black % 2020 Black Number 2020 Mixed % 2007 Mixed Number 2007 Mixed % 2020 Mixed Number 2020 White % 2007 White Number 2007 White % 2020 White Number 2020 Other inc Chinese % 2007 Other inc Chinese Number 2007 Other inc Chinese % 2020 Other inc Chinese Number 2020 Unknown % 2007 Unknown Number 2007 Unknown % 2020 Unknown Number 2020
Chief Officer 2.0 4 1.5 3 0.5 1 0.0 0 1.0 2 0.5 1 96.6 196 98.0 200 0.0 0 0.0 0 N/A* 3 N/A* 27
Chief Superintendent 1.3 6 2.0 6 0.6 3 1.3 4 0.6 3 2.3 7 97.2 456 94.1 285 0.2 1 0.3 1 N/A* 0 N/A* 12
Superintendent 1.0 10 1.7 15 0.8 8 1.0 9 0.5 5 1.8 16 97.4 954 95.5 864 0.2 2 0.1 1 N/A* 8 N/A* 32
Chief Inspector 1.0 18 1.8 31 0.5 10 0.7 12 1.2 22 1.5 25 97.2 1,778 95.8 1,623 0.1 2 0.2 3 N/A* 18 N/A* 38
Inspector 1.0 72 2.3 128 0.5 36 0.7 38 0.7 49 1.6 91 97.5 6,790 95.0 5,253 0.2 16 0.4 21 N/A* 69 N/A* 123
Sergeant 1.1 235 2.2 412 0.8 179 0.8 151 0.7 162 1.6 288 97.0 21,026 94.9 17,493 0.3 65 0.5 99 N/A* 283 N/A* 384
Constable 1.6 1,766 3.3 3,289 1.0 1,113 1.4 1,373 1.1 1,176 2.3 2,283 95.7 103,172 92.1 90,818 0.5 546 0.9 868 N/A* 1,618 N/A* 2,785

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and rank over time (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and rank over time (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity and rank over time (police officers) Summary

‘Senior officers’ include Chief Officers, Chief Superintendents, Superintendents and Chief Inspectors.

The data shows that:

  • between 2007 and 2020, the percentage of constables who were from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds went up from 4.3% to 7.9%

  • between 2007 and 2020, the percentage of inspectors who were from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds doubled (from 2.5% to 5%)

  • at the end of March 2020, there was a higher percentage of constables from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds (7.9%) compared with senior officers (4.3%)

7. By ethnicity and gender over time (police officers)

Number and percentage of police officers by ethnicity and gender (2007 and 2020)
Female Male
Ethnicity Female % 2007 Female Number 2007 Female % 2020 Female Number 2020 Male % 2007 Male Number 2007 Male % 2020 Male Number 2020
Asian 1.2 402 2.08 818 1.6 1,709 3.55 3,065
Black 1.1 359 1.17 462 0.9 991 1.30 1,124
Mixed 1.2 393 2.03 801 1.0 1,026 2.21 1,910
White 96.1 31,463 94.03 37,028 96.1 102,909 92.10 79,508
Other including Chinese 0.4 130 0.69 271 0.5 502 0.84 723
Unknown N/A* 371 N/A* 940 N/A* 1,628 N/A* 2,461

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (police officers)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (police officers)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity and gender over time (police officers) Summary

The data shows that:

  • at the end of March 2020, there was a higher percentage of male police officers from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds (7.9%) than female officers (6.0%)

  • between 2007 and 2020, the percentage of male police officers from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic backgrounds went up from 3.9% to 7.9% – the percentage for female officers went up from 3.9% to 6.0%

8. By ethnicity and role (whole workforce)

Percentage and number of people in the police workforce, by ethnicity and role
Police Officer Police Staff Community Support Officer Designated Officer
Ethnicity Police Officer % Police Officer Number of staff (FTE) Police Staff % Police Staff Number of staff (FTE) Community Support Officer % Community Support Officer Number of staff (FTE) Designated Officer % Designated Officer Number of staff (FTE)
Asian 3.1 3,884 3.5 2,249 4.7 417 3.2 153
Black 1.3 1,586 2.1 1,355 2.9 255 2.7 129
Mixed 2.2 2,711 1.2 772 1.5 133 1.7 80
White 92.7 116,536 92.5 59,264 89.7 8,024 91.7 4,399
Other including Chinese 0.8 993 0.6 408 1.2 111 0.8 39
Unknown N/A* 3,400 N/A* 3,154 N/A* 240 N/A* 330

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and role (whole workforce)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and role (whole workforce)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity and role (whole workforce) Summary

The data shows that:

  • the percentage of people from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds working as police officers (7.3%) was lower than for all other roles

  • 10.3% of police community support officers were from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds, the highest percentage out of all types of paid role

9. By ethnicity (special constables only)

Percentage and number of special constables, and percentage of the overall population (at Census 2011), by ethnicity
Ethnicity % of special constables % of population Number of special constables (Headcount)
Asian 6.1 6.8 535
Black 1.8 3.3 161
Mixed 2.3 2.2 203
White 88.2 86.0 7,748
Other including Chinese 1.5 1.7 135
Unknown N/A* N/A* 789

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity (special constables only)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity (special constables only)’ (CSV)

Summary of Police workforce By ethnicity (special constables only) Summary

Special constables are unpaid volunteers and with no fixed hours. The figures count the total number of special constables regardless of whether they worked part-time or full-time.

The data shows that:

  • 11.8% of special constables were from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other backgrounds, a higher percentage than for any other role

10. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Home Office

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

Ethnicity and gender data is used by police forces as part of diversity monitoring schemes.

11. Download the data

Police workforce data 2007 to 2009 - Spreadsheet (csv) 10 MB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, sex, police force area, role, value, population estimates

Police workforce data 2010 to 2012 - Spreadsheet (csv) 10 MB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, sex, police force area, role, value, population estimates

Police workforce data 2013 to 2016 - Spreadsheet (csv) 14 MB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, sex, police force area, role, value, population estimates

Police workforce 2017 to 2020 - Spreadsheet (csv) 14 MB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, sex, police force area, role, value, population estimates